May 312010
 

In the 27 years I’ve lived and hiked in rural Arizona, I’ve never seen a poisonous snake in the wild. I’ve seen many non-poisonous ones, even on my own deck. I know to watch out for them, and to be careful where I’m stepping.

Yesterday, Jeff and I were in the southern desert, near Phoenix, so he could take some photographs. On our second stop, he went one way, I went another to scout for him. Even though we’d just been warning each other to beware of snakes, I wasn’t as conscientious or mindful as I should have been.

I glanced at the ground and walked forward without paying it much attention. When I should have been examining the dirt in front of me, I was looking up a hill.

“Buzzzz,” I heard, the warning everyone dreads. About 2 steps in front of me was an upset rattlesnake. By the time I noticed her, she was barely out of striking range. I instantly backed up as quickly as I could to get away from her. The snake blended into the dirt perfectly, and it was no wonder that, when I just scanned the ground, I didn’t see her.

Western Diamondback   Rattlesnake

As I trotted back towards the car, I yelled, “Rattlesnake” at Jeff. Instead of leaving it alone (as a reasonable person would), the photographer was thrilled and said, “Cool. I’ve wanted to photograph one for years.” He spent the next 20 minutes (way too close to it for my peace of mind) taking pictures of the snake. For another photo of it, visit TheCreativesCorner.com, Jeff’s blog.

My mom said, “God protects drunks and fools,” and I frequently use the affirmation, “I am protected at all times, under all circumstances.” I sat in the car, feeling like a fool, and thanking God profusely for the gift of the warning to walk no further.

Life can turn on a dime. Mine could have taken a challenging turn yesterday. I’m very grateful that it didn’t, and will pay more attention to where I’m about to step in the future. I’ll also use my affirmation for protection more often, especially when I’m out in nature.

Copyright 2010 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved

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